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Jonski

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#91313 11-Oct-2011 10:52
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This is kind of on the same line as are lens interchangeable between film and DSLR but I thought it best in its own thread.

I have an old Canon EOS500 film camera which I've enjoyed immensely over the years. I have three lenses for it:
Sigma 17-35 EX (HSM)
Canon 35-80 EF
Canon 75-300 EF (USM)

I guess I'm a photography "enthusiast"; I understand the rules of photography, I have been known to take good pictures, I experiment with settings and situations, and I want to go further with what I can do, although I have no intention to go pro or semi-pro. I want to take pictures, to look at them and get lost in them.

I haven't used the camera much in the past few years as digital has taken hold and film is now so expensive to use. I want to upgrade to a good digital and am considering the Canon 5D II or the 60D. I am leaning strongly to the 5D II as I use the wide-angle lens mostly, for landscapes and interiors and I have been waiting for a full-frame sensor (no lens multiplicatin factor and wide-angle loss) along with a large-enough pixel count to not be less than the film equivalent.

I went and had a chat last week to a pro shop which was interesting. Their main comment was that although the 5D II was a lovely camera, my lenses wouldn't do it justice. The wide-angle would have very strong vignetting and the other lenses would be too soft to take advantage of the capabilities of both the DSLRs.

So many people say that lenses are the most important thing. I'm inclined to agree. I just don't want to throw away the investment I've already made.

Does anyone have suggestions as to where to from here? My budget is such that I don't want to spend unnecessarily but I don't want to cut myself short. I want something that will work for years to come and give me joy, but I don't want to resent the overall outlay. Say, up to $4k-ish where a 5D II is $3359 and the 60D is $1462. Certainly over $5k I will have lots of justifying to do to my wife!

Should I start over for everything? Get the cheaper 60D and a new lens? What one? Get the 5D II and put up with soft lenses for a (long) while? Secondhand lenses? Something else?

All comments appreciated!




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timmmay
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  #531832 11-Oct-2011 10:58
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If you're happy with the lenses on film, you might be happy with them on digital. Digital shows a lot more detail than film, but if you judge your images by prints you should be fine.

The original 5D is a bargain these days, especially if you don't need high ISO - and if you're used to film you'll be fine. That 5D I can do ISO1600 well, ISO3200 at a push. I don't know what they cost, but probably around the same as a new 60D I guess. The only thing about the 5D, and the 5DII to a lesser extent, is they feel a little slow to use compared with higher end cameras. Compared with film they're probably pretty good though. A 5D 1 with a nice lens might give you a better image than a 5D II with a cheap lens, especially at low ISO.

Pro shops have their place, but remember they're also trying to sell you things.

What do you take photos of?

magu
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  #531851 11-Oct-2011 11:25
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Not to hijack, but what do the USM and HSM mean?

I'm about to go into DSLR territory myself with a 60D. :)




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timmmay
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  #531854 11-Oct-2011 11:31
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USM - ultrasonic motor. It's a Canon thing, it means the lenses should focus quickly and accurately. HSM is the Sigma version, Hypersonic.

Fast and accurate is a relative term, for Canon. My Nikon gear is similar speed, slightly slower maybe, but far far more accurate to focus.

Jonski

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  #531872 11-Oct-2011 11:56
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timmmay: USM - ultrasonic motor. It's a Canon thing, it means the lenses should focus quickly and accurately. HSM is the Sigma version, Hypersonic.

Fast and accurate is a relative term, for Canon. My Nikon gear is similar speed, slightly slower maybe, but far far more accurate to focus.


An interesting tale: I wanted to take a picture of a fly one day. It was sitting on a wonderful piece of wood and had strong late afternoon sidelighting. I lined up on it with the USM lens and it flew away. Nevermind, I thought, and waited for it to settle again. I lined up again and it flew away again. After several rounds of this, I realised the fly could hear the motor! So instead I turned to manual focus and took the pic. Then I spent a few minutes chasing the fly around with the USM focus motor!

Small things...




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Chainsaw
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  #531892 11-Oct-2011 12:18
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As above, you'd probably be happy with prints, but if you fall into the trap of enlarging the photos on your screen you'll start worrying about the images being "soft" etc.

You have to buy something first don't you - lenses or camera?

timmmay
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  #531901 11-Oct-2011 12:25
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Camera first. Film is dead, and it's expensive to keep using it.

Jonski

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  #531905 11-Oct-2011 12:29
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timmmay: If you're happy with the lenses on film, you might be happy with them on digital. Digital shows a lot more detail than film, but if you judge your images by prints you should be fine.

The original 5D is a bargain these days, especially if you don't need high ISO - and if you're used to film you'll be fine. That 5D I can do ISO1600 well, ISO3200 at a push. I don't know what they cost, but probably around the same as a new 60D I guess. The only thing about the 5D, and the 5DII to a lesser extent, is they feel a little slow to use compared with higher end cameras. Compared with film they're probably pretty good though. A 5D 1 with a nice lens might give you a better image than a 5D II with a cheap lens, especially at low ISO.

Pro shops have their place, but remember they're also trying to sell you things.

What do you take photos of?


Thanks for the comments. I have been concerned in the past by lack of sharpness in some of my photos but I usually don't mind. It depends on the subject really.

With film, I tended to stay at very low ISO, 100 usually. Certainly, I would avoid going to 400 or more unless I really had to. I like the finer grain and better colour saturation. If I needed a low-light shot, I'd increase the exposure instead, making sure I had mounted the camera or otherwise stabilised it.

Shutter lag is something I hate though. However I don't know what it was on the old 35mm SLR and I can't find any specs that measure it. Does anyone know?

My photos are mainly landscapes and seascapes. Candid pub interiors while I'm travelling around Ireland, on wide angle and no flash. I'd like to do some macro photography but I don't have the lens for it. I'm not that into portraiture or sports, and although I like photographing my kids, I have a Canon Powershot compact to do that.

I'm going to go back to the shop with my lenses and take some sample shots. I'll update this thread later with what I find.




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timmmay
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  #531913 11-Oct-2011 12:36
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Even with the old 5D you can shoot ISO800 with very little noise. I have a 50" print from a 5D1 that looks great. I shoot up to ISO3200 without worrying with my Nikon D700, 6400 if pushed.

Your lenses are probably about the level they can be thrown away. Given that, consider Nikon cameras as well. Though Canon are a little cheaper, and Nikon lenses while awesome are quite expensive.


Jonski

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  #532421 12-Oct-2011 16:22
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Jonski: I'm going to go back to the shop with my lenses and take some sample shots. I'll update this thread later with what I find.


OK here are a couple of pairs of sample shots.

My test method was to get the three lenses and the two cameras and test each lens in each camera at the shortest, mid and longest focal length, and at the lowest, mid and highest aperture each using Av and letting the camera work out the rest itself.

I'm happy enough with the lenses as they stand. I had no sign of vignetting, although the pro shop said it would be so bad as to be unuseable. My tele lens showed significant chromatic aberration at maximum zoom but at lower lengths was acceptable.

5DII 300mm 250th @ 5.6 ISO 250 crop 1:
 

60D 300mm 500th @ 7 ISO 800 crop 1:
 

5DII 75mm 200th @ 14 ISO 400 crop 1:
 

60D 75mm 125th @ 14 ISO 500 crop 1:


It seems the 60D is somewhat overexposed but I'm wondering if this is because it was running higher ISO? I would like to go back and set both to fully manual, and test identical shots side by side. And in RAW not JPG. If anyone can give me feedback on the attached photos, it would be appreciated.

But after all this I'm leaning to the 60D and a new 10-22 lens.

Comments?

Edit: Adding captions to photos.




I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

timmmay
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  #532432 12-Oct-2011 17:08
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Different cameras meter slightly different. Did you have your exposure compensation set the same?

There's no question the 5DII is better than the 60D, but i'm not sure about the value. A used 5D is excellent value.

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